Why Is A Male Turkey Called A Gobbler?

Do you ever wonder why a male turkey is called a “gobbler”? Have you ever seen a gobbler strut his stuff and wondered how he got that name? Well, wonder no more!

In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of turkey behavior and explain why a male turkey goes by such a quirky moniker. So buckle up and get ready for an educational journey into the turkey world – you’re sure to be gobbled up by the answers!

Why is a Male Turkey Called a Gobbler?

Turkeys are large birds belonging to the genus Meleagris.

Male turkeys, or gobblers, exhibit interesting and unique behaviors. They are considered a staple in many cuisines, especially when it comes to special occasions like Thanksgiving. But why do we call them gobblers?

Read on to learn more about the fascinating mascot of the holiday season.

The Male Turkey’s Unique Behavior

Male turkeys, called gobblers or toms, are distinctive in their physical appearance. This includes snow-white feathers on their tails, heads, and wings.

They also feature a fleshy red crown, a v-shaped bare patch on their necks, and a black beard down their chests. To impress their mates, they will strut around in circles, puff out their feathers, fan out their tails and gobble — hence the name ‘gobbler.

The History of Why Turkeys Are Called Gobblers

The name ‘gobbler’ originated from the sound made by male turkeys — the well-known ‘gobble, gobble. ’ The sound is made through their syrinx, which is essentially their version of a voice box.

An excited gobbler can be heard from a mile away when seeking a mate, warning their hens or simply showing off to rival males.

Gobbling in the Natural Environment

The sound of a gobbler does not only signify that it is seeking a mate. It is also a warning call to rival males, alerting them that it is ready to fight.

In the wild, male turkeys will scrap and fight over mates and other territories is a show of dominance. They use their sharp claws and beaks in fierce cases and some injuries can be inflicted.

Male Turkeys in Captivity

Male turkeys in captivity are bred for their meat and put into crates when they are unable to support themselves. The gobbler crate is then brought to the slaughterhouse for processing. The gobbler is then frozen and canned to be sold as holiday meals for families around the world.


A male turkey is called a gobbler due to their unique behavior. Males attract mates, warn rivals, and establish dominance by demonstrating their tail feathers, fanning their wings, and making the famous “gobble, gobble” noise. In areas such as the United States, these birds are bred in captivity and processed into frozen and canned holiday meals. Whether it’s cooked or wild, the iconic ‘gobbler’ will remain a mainstay of the delicious holiday season.

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